Monday, January 6, 2014

Marathon Training, Frozen Tundra Style...

So this is how it's gonna be. Well, Happy New Year from the land of permanent First Night Ice Sculptures. 

In Copley Square on New Year's Day

It occurred to me that this is my third winter in a row filled with marathon training. I ran Hyannis in February, 2012. That was the mildest winter of the three, hands down. Warm, little precip, a joy for training. 

A fluke. 

We appear to be in year two of an ice nightmare winter trend. Cold, wet, icy, snowy. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Erasing all memory of spring leaf, flower, fastball. 

after 13 miles outdoors in temps from -2 to 8 with windchill

This past Saturday, I ran thirteen miles on semi-plowed suburban sidewalks. In single digit temperatures. I overdressed - three layers on my legs and five layers of shirts/jackets. Three layers over my ears (balaclava, hat, turtle fur)! A pair of gloves under my mittens. 

I could have subtracted a layer from my legs and probably two from my tops but the wind chill was supposed to be in the minus twenties and I hate the feeling like I'll never be able to warm up after I've gotten chilled. The feeling that sets in November and doesn't lift until mid-May without me even leaving the house. 

At this point, with road shoulders plowed like clogged arteries, darkness, and bouts of arctic air, winter feels insurmountably constricting. (Though around here we are now getting more than a minute's worth of additional daylight each day, and finally sunrise and sunset are both moving backwards to more humane hours.) 

I so want to just stay in bed. But. Boston is calling and I want to run it like I own it because there will never be another one like it...and I'm not sure I have another one in me. So I train. 

I so want to just stay in bed, but Samaritans takes 350 calls each day - 24/7 - and I am honored to be able to use my running to make sure resources are available for each individual seeking help. I think about caller 351 - will that be someone I know, care about, depend on? Will Samaritans be able to take that call? 

I was asked why I'd run 13 outdoor miles on a day like Saturday, especially since I have a treadmill available. If I didn't get out there, winter would win, and I've got far too many years left in me to be cowed by an entire season. Even if I'd prefer it act more like 2012 and less like 2013/2014. I know what it's capable of and am disappointed terribly in this winter's failure to live up to that potential! 

With Kirstie Crawford (Samaritans marathon team coordinator) in Copley Square on New Year's Day

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